Woodson's Big Play Helps Packers Top Broncos 49-23
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Charles Woodson plucked Kyle Orton's pass out of the air, managed not to bobble the ball, and took it straight to the end zone.
Woodson's 30-yard interception for a touchdown set the tone early in the Green Bay Packers' 49-23 rout of the Denver Broncos at Lambeau Field on Sunday. It also moved Woodson one step away from a record.
Sunday's score was Woodson's 11th interception return for a touchdown, tying him with Darren Sharper for second on the NFL career list – and putting him one behind the leader, Rod Woodson.
"I'm almost there," Charles Woodson said. "I plan on getting it this year. We'll see."
Woodson's big play was the worst part of an up-and-down day for Orton, one of three interceptions by the Packers.
The Packers already were leading 7-3 when Woodson read Orton's attempted throw to Eric Decker.
"I feel like I bobbled it a little bit briefly, and for a second thought I was going to drop it," Woodson said. "Once I got it and I looked back and (saw) the receiver kind of stumbling, I knew I could get in."
The Broncos still had a rally in them, with Orton throwing a pair of touchdowns to Decker in the second quarter to cut the deficit to four. In the end, though, the Broncos just couldn't stop Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers threw for a career-high 408 yards and tied a career best with four touchdown passes, but perhaps was most pleased with his two rushing touchdowns.
"I enjoy those times, to try to make it look semi-athletic," Rodgers said.
Green Bay (4-0) and resurgent NFC North rival Detroit are the only undefeated teams left in the NFL. The Packers are rolling right now, but coach Mike McCarthy says there's always room for improvement.
"Trust me, we don't have it all figured out as a football team," McCarthy said. "We're 4-0, but we're very in tune with what we need to improve as a team."
Perhaps, but things are looking more dire in Denver.
Backup Tim Tebow made a brief and uneventful appearance at quarterback for the Broncos early, but coach John Fox chose not to give Tebow more work when the game got out of control in the fourth quarter.
"I thought our offense was very impressive, other than the turnovers," Fox said. "It wasn't all the quarterback (Kyle Orton). It was all of us."
Rodgers' 408 yards passing were a regular-season career high; he threw for 423 yards in the Packers' playoff loss to Arizona in January 2010. Rodgers was replaced by backup Matt Flynn late in the fourth quarter.
"Aaron Rodgers obviously is playing extremely well," McCarthy said. "I can't say enough. He is a special player."
Packers veteran wide receiver Donald Driver left in the second quarter because of an apparent left knee injury, but returned in the second half – then caught a touchdown from Rodgers in the fourth quarter.
"I just wanted to play," Driver said. "I felt like if it wasn't something that was broken, I feel like I could still play. Doc decided he wanted to sit me down, but he knows I'm hardheaded. I told him that I was going to play, and he gave me the OK."
When Driver went down, Greg Jennings feared the worst.
"Let me tell you, he's the ultimate gladiator," Jennings said. "He almost had us in tears because you see a guy who pours in everything week in, week out, every practice, doesn't miss a practice, and then you see him take a hit like that and you see him grabbing his knee and it's like, 'Oh, my gosh, please God, let this not be it.' Fortunately for us and for him, he was able to bounce back."
Notes: With new security measures in place, fans had trouble getting into Lambeau Field in time for kickoff. With 10 minutes left before the start, several lines of fans waiting to get in stretched deep into the parking lot. The lines had dissipated early in the first quarter. ... Von Miller had two sacks for the Broncos. ... Woodson's interception was the 50th of his career.